n All but two turncoats face crushing defeat in by-elections n Out of 20 seats, PTI grabs 15, PML-N 4, an independent candidate also wins.


LAHORE   -   In a landslide victory, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) defeated the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the by-elections held on 20 Punjab Assembly seats, thereby paving the way for Ch Parvez Elahi to become the next Punjab Chief Minister on July 22, the date fixed by the Lahore High Court to conduct second round of the chief minister’s election.

Riding on the populist wave, the PTI grabbed 15 provincial seats leaving just four to the ruling PML-N in a hotly contested election which remained largely peaceful with isolated incidents of scuffles between the party workers in certain constituencies. One seat from Lodhran went to an independent.

Political analysts believe that not only the PTI’s powerful narrative against the turncoats prevailed in the bye-election, but the surprising results were also the masses’ reaction to the high fuel prices, inflation and grinding power outages.

Senior PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood termed the by-polls a “watershed election”. “People have stood up against conspiracies and fascism and used the only weapon they have, their vote. This election result is a resounding endorsement of Imran khan and his defiant struggle. Truth has prevailed”, he said in his tweet.

In the coming days, it would be interesting to watch if the PTI completes its  term in Punjab Assembly or its new chief minister advises dissolution of the provincial assembly to pave way for early general elections.

In a shocking defeat from Lahore, the PML-N won only one seat. In PP-168, Asad Khokhar of the PML-N defeated Malik Nawaz Awan of the PTI. Asad secured 26169 votes while Awan polled 15767, according to RMS results issued by Provincial Election Commission.

In PP-167, PTI’s Shabbir Gujjar, a first timer, defeated PMLN’s Nazir Chohan obtaining 40,511 votes. Chohan got 26475 votes. In PP-170, Zaheer Abbas Khokhar of the PTI defeated PML-N’s Amin Chaudhry securing 24688 votes. Amin got 17519 votes.  In PP-158, Malik Akram Usman, the son-in-law of Mian Mahmoodur Rashid defeated Rana Ahsan Sharafat of the PML-N by getting 37463 votes. Sharafat obtained 31906 votes.

Besides winning one seat from Lahore, the PML-N’s candidates from Layyah Fida Hussain and Tahir Randhawa from Bahawalnagar also defeated their rival candidates belonging to the PTI.

According to unofficial results, PTI’s Lt. Col. Shabbir Awan got defeated by Raja Sagheer Ahmed of PML-N in PP-7 (Rawalpindi-II). In PP-83 (Khushab-II), PTI’s Hasan Aslam Awan defeated PML-N’s Ameer Haider Sang¬ha. In PP-90 (Bhakar), PTI’s Irfanul¬lah Khan Niazi defeated Saeed Akbar Niwani of the PML-N.

In PP-97 (Faisalabad), PTI’s Ali Afzal Sahi defeated Muhammad Ajmal Cheema of the PML-N. Ali Afzal is son of former speaker Punjab As¬sembly, Muhammad Afzal Sahi. In 2018, Ajmal won as an independent candidate defeating Ali Afzal Sahi of the PTI. In PP-202 (Sahiwal), PTI’s Major (retired) Ghulam Sarwar defeated the PML-N’s Malik Nau¬

The PML-N has gracefully accepted the defeat terming it the ‘verdict’ of the people. Former Punjab Minister Malik Mohammad Ahmad Khan said that his party had conceded the defeat as the PTI had won by a landslide victory. Maryam Nawaz Sharif in her tweet said her party should accept the defeat with an open heart.